My Dad never calls me. That in itself should have been the tip off. The fact that it was the 26th of January should have also been an indicator*.
To be clear: "Never calls me" means he never calls unless he's on assignment over seas - even better if said assignment involves a destination in civil unrest - and then it's only via a feeble Skype connection. He's a busy man. (see early blog post) Other than those handful of times per year, mum does the dialling like a dutiful secretary from the 50's. "Your father wants to talk to you." - hands off phone.
Having said all that, on Sunday when my dad rang I was slightly confused. When questioned about the uncharacteristic call his answer was; "Nothing. Just wanted to tell you about such and such." Our conversation continued for maybe 5 minutes. At which point I think I subconsciously registered the date and asked;
Me: ""Dad" (using air-quotes with no-one around), do you think it's my birthday?"
Dad: "Isn't it?"
Me (penny dropping): "Of course - It's the 26th! I KNEW there was a reason you were calling - You NEVER call."
Dad: "You think I'd know after 39 years?"
Me: "38 Dad."
I could hear my mom rolling her eyes in the background.
Punch line: it was not my birthday.
* For roughly exactly 38 years my beloved father has defaulted to either January 26th or February 4th when wishing me a Happy Birthday. My actual Birthday is today - the 29th of January. I share the day with Tom Selleck - which makes me very happy - also WC Fields who incidentally, is my favorite answer to all Trivial Pursuit questions.